Research on conditions to develop new innovations within emerging renewable energy industries is often done with a national focus. However, recent research on international entrepreneurship has revealed that firms operate on international levels very early in their life time. Thus, based on former research on international entrepreneurship and case examples, we build the propositions that firms in the marine energy industry use internationalization as a strategy to overcome industry barriers. Our primary source of data is a unique dataset from a global survey of all the companies in the marine energy industry who are aiming to commercialize a wave or tidal energy device. This paper is organized in two steps: first we identified the most challenging industry barriers perceived by companies. Second we use these to form propositions which we assess through empirical data. The two most challenging barriers perceived by the companies are need for capital and need for supportive political schemes. Our findings reveal that internationalization certainly is a common strategy to access capital and attractive support schemes in foreign countries. The early internationalization has implications for researchers, managers and policy makers.